The local and regional food sector is nothing new, although it has received more press in recent years. USDA and our partners have been studying the impact of local food on communities to amplify the footprint of this important segment of agriculture has made, and continues to make.
USDA Local/Regional Investments:
- Agroforestry Practices - Includes alley cropping, forest farming/multi-story cropping, riparian forest buffers, silvopasture, and windbreaks.
Economic Research Service:
- ERS Local Foods Corner - Reports and other tools from USDA's Economic Research Service, including:
- Rural Veterans at a Glance
Farm to School:
National Institute of Food and Agriculture Resources:
- Current Research Information System (CRIS) - Ongoing agricultural, food science, human nutrition, and forestry research, education and extension activities.
- Sustainable Agriculture Resource and Education: Building Local and Regional Food Systems - Discover a wealth of educational materials for farmers, ranchers, ag professionals, community organizers and others who are striving to reconfigure the nation's food system so more value stays in food-producing communities.
- Library of Co-op Publications - Extensive library of over 150 publications, including Rural Cooperatives magazine.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):
- SNAP Annual Reports
- Nutrition Assistance at Farmers Markets: Understanding Current Operations - Data includes reasons for SNAP participation and barriers to SNAP participation from both farmers' market managers and direct marketing farmers.
- Nutrition Assistance at Farmers Markets: Understanding the Shopping Patterns of SNAP Participants - Data includes SNAP Participant reasons for shopping at or barriers to shopping at farmers' markets.
- Farmers Market Incentive Provider Study - Data includes interviews with representatives at organizations that provide incentives for SNAP participants to shop at farmers' markets.
Non-USDA Data and Reports:
- Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) Reports:
- Assessing the Landscape of Local Food in Appalachia - Examines the breadth and depth of the local food movement in the 13 states and 420 counties of the Appalachian Region, describes best practices and available resources, and analyzes gaps and opportunities for expanding this growing sector of the economy.
Can't find your answer on this site? Contact a USDA professional:
- Ask the USDA Expert Online - Find answers to your questions.
- USDA Service Center Locator - Find your local USDA office for Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development.
- FarmAnswers.org - Provides resources to help you get started farming, as well as tools to help more seasoned producers succeed.